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The Baltimore Ravens dominated the Miami Dolphins 56-19 to clinch the AFC’s No. 1 seed.

Both teams scored on their opening possessions. Tua Tagovailoa found Cedrick Wilson Jr. for an eight-yard touchdown pass and Lamar Jackson hit Justice Hill on a wheel route for a 20-yard score.

Miami scored on its second drive too, but this time the Dolphins were held to a Jason Sanders 27-yard field goal. Gus Edwards then capped a long drive by the Ravens to score on a one-yard rushing touchdown.

Sanders again added three points for Miami, converting a 38-yard field goal attempt, but Lamar Jackson and Zay Flowers connected on a 75-yard score on the next play from scrimmage before Jackson found Isaiah Likely for a 35-yard touchdown on fourth-and-7 to put the Ravens up 28-13 at halftime.

It didn’t take the Ravens long to find the end zone again in the second half. Jackson and Likely connected from seven yards out after a long kickoff return by Justice Hill set them up in the red zone.

The Dolphins opened the fourth quarter with a one-yard touchdown pass from Tagovailoa to De’Von Achane, but they failed to convert the two-point conversion and matters were made even worse when the Ravens immediately went down the field and scored again. Jackson hit Patrick Ricard for his fifth passing touchdown of the day.

The Ravens’ backups then got in on the act. Melvin Gordon scored on a seven-yard touchdown run before Tyler Huntley found Charlie Kolar for a 19-yard passing touchdown.

Offensive spotlight: In a week where Jackson’s credentials as the 2023 NFL MVP were hotly debated, the Ravens quarterback did what he always does and did his talking on the field. He went 18-for-21 for 321 yards and five passing touchdowns. He added 35 rushing yards on six carries, but Sunday was all about the passing game. The 2019 unanimous NFL MVP finished with multiple highlight-reel throws, including the 35-yard touchdown to Likely and a long pass down the right sideline to Odell Beckham Jr.

Defensive spotlight: The Ravens entered the game without two starting defensive backs in Kyle Hamilton and Brandon Stephens, and they were soon without another when Marlon Humphrey went down. That makes how Mike Macdonald and the defense stifled the Miami Dolphins, particularly in the first half, even more impressive. 

The usual suspects stepped up and made plays for them on defense. Roquan Smith hauled in an impressive one-handed interception and Geno Smith picked his seventh pass of the year. Meanwhile, Justin Madubuike recorded a sack again, taking his total on the year to 13, and linebacker Patrick Queen earned a tackle for loss and a pass breakup.

Rookie spotlight: Lamar Jackson had missed Zay Flowers on numerous deep shots throughout the season so far but Sunday, they finally connected on a deep touchdown on that 75-yard score. Flowers finished the game with three catches for 106 yards and that touchdown.

On the other side of the field, Dolphins running back De’Von Achane had another game filled with big plays. He rushed for 107 yards on 14 carries and added another 30 yards and a touchdown on four receptions.


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Maddox Terner

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